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Window 98 internet connection

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I have a computer and I have an internet router with a Ethernet cable. I hooked it up to my computer (a compaq presario 5151) and my computer seems not to be reading it. My other devices work. Does this have to do anything with it running windows 98? I called microsoft and they basically told me to buy a new computer, ( also one told me they were no longer trained in how to run windows98 so i dont know if they knew what they were talking about. I was planning to get a laptop but i still wanted this one to work. Any ideas on how to connect it without having to buy anything? If so its fine but is there any other way? Thanks!
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Wow, Windows 98... going back to the stone age here aren't we?!

First things first, are the proper drivers installed for the NIC? Are you even able to confirm exactly which NIC is installed?

Here are the drivers for your machine, surprisingly still up and running on the HP website:

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